Jun 13, 2016 | By Alec

The Dutch government, industry partners and various research institutes are about to invest an additional €134 million ($150 USD) in innovative research projects that focus on 3D printing. A large portion of that sum will go towards funding studies at the research institute TNO and at the Technical University of Eindhoven. PrintValley 2020, a 3D printing knowledge center that seeks to realize new medical-grade 3D printing platforms, will receive funding.

Specifically, the investments will go to projects from research institutes TNO and Deltares, to horticulture specialists PeetAplant, ICT specialists SURF, the Erasmus Medical Center and to the TU Delft, Twente University and the TU Eindhoven. The group of funded projects is very diverse, and it also includes Twente University’s NanoLabNL, which will receive a €13 million investment for nanotechnology application development.

As Henk Kamp, Minister of Economic Affairs, and Jet Bussemaker, Minister of Research, Culture and Science revealed, the Dutch government will provide €40 million of the €134 million total in interest-free loans, through the Future Fund for Research Facilities. “Innovation is the engine behind our competitive position and will ensure that the Dutch economy can continue to grow over the coming decades. The ten research projects that will be funded are already making contributions to researchers and industry partners. Through this additional investment, more new and innovative products and services can be developed. Thanks to the fund, we can support the economy of the future and stimulate entrepreneurs and research institutes to do the same,” Kamp said.

The government’s portion of the investment would not have been possible without the Future Fund, which provides interest-free 15-year research loans to support investments by research institutes and businesses. So far, it has been a huge success. In most cases, the government backs half of the project’s total investment costs with a loan. “Through the loans from the Future Fund, we can provide surety to investments. This will help universities make that decision to enable long-term investments and growth, which in turn will make it easier to attracted talented researchers and work on innovative solutions for social challenges,” Bussemaker explained. A further €20 million will be provided to other studies through that system later this year.

3D printing features prominently on the list too, as ‘PrintValley 2020’ will receive a €2,6 million investment. Conceived by researchers from the TNO and the TU Eindhoven, the investment will be used to develop the PrintValley knowledge center, which completely revolves around different 3D printing techniques. The goal is to take complete control of all aspects of different 3D printing processes and create innovative new 3D printing platforms that feature high printing speeds, combine a variety of materials and integrate numerous additional processes. This should, researchers say, provide serious opportunities for 3D printing specialists to create new ways to 3D print advanced bionics, implants, smart electronics and a lot more.

TNO’s Hyproline mass production 3D printer, completed earlier this year.

Two other proposals of the TNO will also receive financial backing. “In part thanks to the Future Fund loans, the TNO will be able to invest in high quality facilities that enable research and the production of innovative goods and services,” TNO write. In one project, they will be developing the EBL-2, an Extreme UV Beam Line that can invigorate the semiconductor industry. For the other, they will be setting up a special Optics Manufacturing Facility, which will construct parts for satellites and climate studies.

According to Undersecretary Sander Dekker of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, these investments are crucial for keeping the Dutch research climate on par with international trends. “Science alone can’t provide solutions for all economic and social challenges, and companies can’t realize all innovations by themselves. Through collaboration, we can realize the most groundbreaking results and we can maximize the social impact of scientific knowledge. These ten projects are excellent examples of this,” he said.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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Aurelie wrote at 10/16/2016 11:48:40 AM:

where can we buy that little red robot?

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